Sen. Booker Hosts Small Business Forum

Friday, July 11, 2014 ( 8:00 am to 12:00 pm )

Location: DeBaun Auditorium in the Edwin A. Stevens Hall

Senator Cory A. Booker in partnership with The Internet Association Small Business Tech and Social Innovation Forum Hoboken, New Jersey

9:00 AM: Welcome Remarks – Nariman Farvardin, President, Stevens Institute of Technology

9:10 AM: Introduction of Senator Cory A. Booker – Bert Navarrete, General Manager, Tigerlabs

9:20 AM: Opening Remarks – U.S. Senator Cory A. Booker

9:40 AM: Large Group Discussion


Michael Beckerman, President and CEO, The Internet Association Michael Beckerman is President and CEO of The Internet Association, a trade association representing the leading Internet companies. The Internet Association is dedicated to advancing public policy solutions to strengthen and protect Internet freedom, foster innovation and economic growth, and empower users. Prior to joining The Internet Association, Michael spent 12 years on Capitol Hill, most recently serving as Deputy Staff Director of the House Energy and Commerce Committee under Chairman Fred Upton.


  • Carley Graham Garcia, Head of Global Industry Relations, Google Carley serves as Head of Global Industry Relations for Google, Inc., where her focus is fostering affinity for the company amongst the industry trade and customer audiences, including small business groups. Carley holds a BA from Georgetown University, a MBA from the Stern School of Business at NYU and is currently on leave from Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, where she is pursuing a Mid-Career Master's in Public Administration. Carley lives with her husband and 9-month old son in Montclair, New Jersey.
  • Bess Yount, Small Business Program Manager, Facebook Bess Yount runs Facebook’s Small and Medium Business Programs at its Headquarters in Menlo Park, CA. She focuses on small business advocacy and community programs, helping small businesses use Facebook to connect and grow. She has previously worked on the Business and Product Marketing team at Facebook, where she helped create marketing materials and scaled marketing programs for global sales teams and their clients. Bess has her BA and MA from Stanford University.
  • Darnell Holloway, Senior Manager of Local Business Outreach, Yelp Darnell Holloway is Yelp's Head of Business Outreach. He hosts informational sessions with local business owners across the country to educate them on best practices for navigating the world of online reviews. He oversees Yelp's Small Business Advisory Council, and delivers constructive feedback from the business community to the different divisions within Yelp. He also hosts a series of bi-monthly webinars about Yelp's free online tools, and regularly produces informative content for Yelp's "Blog for Business Owners." Prior to joining Yelp in 2009, Darnell worked in the banking industry as a securities research broker for Thomas Weisel Partners.
  • Elliot Bohm, Co-Founder and CEO, Elliot Bohm is a serial entrepreneur in various applications of technology, both as an operator as well as a financier. He co-founded in 2008 and in just a few years, grew it from a small start-up to the world’s largest and fastest growing gift card exchange marketplace for buying, selling, and trading gift cards. Elliot was nominated by Forbes Magazine as one of Americas Most Promising CEO's under the age of 35 - a list comprised of just 22 individuals.
  • Steve Jones, CEO and Inventor in Chief, websignia Steve Jones founded websignia ( in 2003, and currently serves as its CEO and innovator in chief. Steve has over 20 years of enterprise business experience working for companies like Cardinal Health, JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, Compaq Capital, Amerada Hess, and others. Under Steve’s leadership and vision, websignia has maintained double digit sales growth every year since inception, won awards for excellence in marketing and community development, and has provided services to over 600 companies around the world, including Cartoon Network, Pfizer, Cardinal Health, Port Authority of New York & New Jersey, September 11 Memorial, and Colgate-Palmolive.

10:50 AM: Breakout Sessions & Tech Expo

Option 1: Facebook Panelist: • Bess Yount, Small Business Program Manager, Facebook

Option 2: Yelp Panelists: • Darnell Holloway, Senior Manager of Local Business Outreach, Yelp • Stephanie Yolish, New Jersey Senior Community Manager, Yelp

Option 3: Google Panelists: • Andrew Ladner, Federal Policy Analyst, Google • Carley Graham Garcia, Head of Global Industry Relations, Google

Option 4: AOL/Huffington Post Panelist: • Lauri Baker, VP, Brand Strategy & Sales, Huffington Post Option 5: Uber Panelist: • Nicole Benincasa, NYC Policy & Regulatory Associate, Uber Technologies, Inc.

The event is free, however registration is required. Click here to register for this event